THRILLVILLE: Will "the Thrill" Viharo's weird, wild world of Pulp Fiction, B Movies, & the Lounge Lizard Lifestyle.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A MERMAID DROWNS IN THE MIDNIGHT LOUNGE: That's a Wrap

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I just completed my first novel in 12 years - begun then prematurely abandoned a year or so after I started hosting my show at the Parkway (initially called "The Midnight Lounge"), then met the love of my life, Monica, all of which distracted me from my original literary ambitions.  Maybe I needed the long break to let the initial concept seep, then combine it with my myriad experiences and impressions since I first began my 17th novel (and so far, only one of them has been published, LOVE STORIES ARE TOO VIOLENT FOR ME, optioned several times by Christian Slater). In any case, I'm back. The completed new novel is still entitled A MERMAID DROWNS IN THE MIDNIGHT LOUNGE. You can read the first three chapters starting here. I'm also posting a few "teaser" excerpts below, along with some inspiring imagery. I am now going to try to find a publisher for it. It won't be easy, since, for one thing, Fiction is not exactly a booming business, and two, this work is rather idiosyncratic, though definitely written with a  certain audience in mind. It's meant to be entertaining, provocative, and different. I've alternately labeled it "mermaid  noir," "dream-pulp" and most recently, "neo-pulp fiction fantasia" - but like the films of David Lynch, the music of Tom Waits, the fiction of William Burroughs, its such a mish-mash of influences, both internal and external, that it ultimately defies easy classification. I wrote exactly the book I wanted to write - and to read. Dig these randomly selected samples:






 From Chapter Sixty-Eight:
In One-Way Ticket to Thrillville, the character named Dolores becomes a mermaid in one of the parallel stories being told, serenely and safely swimming away into the sunset at the very end (though her doppelganger doesn’t fare so well in the alternate world of the film), while the character named Nick…well, I don’t want to give it completely away. In any case, I was already thinking of how to morph the two tales into one, as Dolores – the real one – had suggested. As it was, both ended somewhat inconclusively, setting up a possible sequel. You had to think franchise to have any lasting financial security in this business. My movie was meant to be pure exploitation, with not only living mermaids but things like zombies, werewolves, biker gangs, undead rock stars, monster men, gunfights and a lot of gratuitous sex. I wasn’t going for any awards here. I was just trying to make a living. And yet, I did sense that beyond my economic goals, something deeper was motivating me. I wanted to do this for Dolores. I wanted to make enough money for us to retire from this whole insane scene, from the whole mad world. Forget the sequel. I wanted this to be The Last B Movie. The End. But first I had to make it, and for that, we needed money.  After meeting her that night in Palm Springs, I'd knew I'd do whatever I needed to do to get it. I just never imagined I’d go this far…



From Chapter Fifty-Four:


When Dolores opened her eyes, she was underwater, but breathing naturally.  She kept swimming through the murky depths punctuated with moonbeams penetrating the surface above. Finally, disoriented but delighted, she headed up towards the light, and when she broke the surface of the water, she saw someone on the distant shore, apparently searching for her. She instinctively knew it was Nick, even though his countenance appeared strange and monstrous, at least from her distant vantage point. She waved frantically and called out his name, but he could no longer see nor hear her. She had drifted too far away. She dove back under the surface and swam towards the shore, rapidly propelled by her tail fins, which she looked back and noticed with both awe and immediate acceptance, and but when she surfaced again, near the shore, Nick was gone. She dove back underwater to look for him there, but after a vain search, she headed back to the surface and instead of the moon, found herself staring into the blinding fluorescent light of a hospital room.
“What the fuck kinda fucked up dream was that?” she exclaimed as she sat up, feeling wobbly.




From Chapter Thirty-Eight:

The nurse felt a spasm of sympathy. “We should be letting you go shortly, once the tests are in.”
“Do I have to wait for the results?" Nick asked noticing the red hair beneath her cap, the soft freckles on her ivory skin, the depth of her green eyes liberally lined with mascara, the pink painted nails, the sweet but slyly seductive scent of her expensive department store perfume. In a way, she reminded him of Dolores, only older. Nick guessed she was in her late forties, not much older than him. And yet she seemed so much more mature than he was. For one thing, she had a real profession. And she hadn’t suddenly transformed into a living B movie monster. He suddenly felt like a life-sized action figure. “I really need to get out of here. I was in jail before this, for no good reason. I haven’t been home in a while now.”
“Well, my name is Myrna,” said the nurse. “I’ll see what I can do to make sure you can go home and take care of your sick pussy soon,” she added with a wink.
Nick wasn’t sure whether she was kidding, but he just nodded in sincere appreciation and said, “Thanks, Myrna.”
“I’m the head nurse, by the way,” she said as she left the room to go check with the doctor in charge of Nick’s chart. A zaftig woman, she was stuffed into that tight nurse’s uniform like a python into a pillowcase. That’s one hot NILF, Nick thought to himself.


From Chapter Forty-Nine:
“Welcome to my fuckin’ world,” Dolores said, abruptly opening the bathroom door. “And you’re just livin’ in it,” she added, looking directly into his eyes as she brushed by him. She looked like a refugee from a ‘70s car chase flick. The cut-off jeans tightly conformed to her curvaceous hips, and the halter-top revealed enough cleavage and navel to give Jesse a spontaneous, involuntary boner.  She looked cheaper than ice, and twice as cold.
Dolores opened her purse and pulled out the gun and held it aloft, without pointing it anywhere in particular, and said, “I’m outta here, old man. You going with me or staying here? Your choice, but decide now.” Then she turned and pointed the gun at the television set, beaming  unimaginably horrible images of the Elvis-spawned zombie apocalypse, and fired a single bullet into the LCD screen, which exploded in a cloud of shards and smoke. “Enough of that shit already,” she said.
Jesse grinned a lop-sided sneer. “That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout now, lil’ sister. Definitely, let’s leave the building.”
He collected his things and they peeled out of the parking lot and down the deep, dark road into the beckoning blackness. She was hell-bent determined to find Nick, dead or alive or undead, in this dream world, or the next.
 

From Chapter Eighty:
Supposedly still on the road to Palm Springs, Dolores and I finally pulled over and stopped at a signpost on the side of the desolate highway. It said, “Welcome to Thrillville - Population: Unknown.” Overheard in the starry firmament, a flying saucer began final descent into its designated destination, disappearing just beyond the not-too-distant horizon, glowing pink in the purple twilight.  

We got out of the Impala and walked to a scintillating swimming pool surrounded by majestic palm trees, located alone and isolated in the middle of nowhere, like an oasis. Next to the pool was a fully stocked bar covered by a bright green awning. The bartender wore a bow tie and white jacket and looked a lot like a young Ricardo Montalban. He was already shaking up some cocktails, apparently in anticipation of our arrival. On the other side of the pool, a strange, beautiful woman in a sparkling scarlet evening gown was playing Martin Denny’s “Quiet Village” on the Theremin. She resembled Rita Hayworth in her heyday. Despite the setting sun, the weather was warm. We stripped down to nakedness and jumped into the cool, soothing water. As we did laps, I looked over and saw Buddy the cat was serenely swimming alongside of us. Dolores flipped her tail fins playfully.
Copyright 2010 Will Viharo, all rights reserved.






For the rest, you'll have to buy the book, which means I better find a publisher pronto...thanks for reading. Cheers.